Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Employment Then, Employment Now

We put together this handy chart to point out how animation ... and animation employment ... can change in the course of 34 short months ...

For instance, three years back, DreamWorks Animation hadn't yet embarked on its ambitious "three features per year" schedule, and so had fewer employees. They've ramped up since, of course, but now have backed off their robust release pattern a bit. (Rumors circulate that DWA has "big layoffs" on the horizon. The word we get from some staffers is that there will be some targeted layoffs, but nothing major.)

Disney, which had more union employees than DreamWorks Animation in 2008 but fewer now, is comprised of three different animation units: Disney Toon Studios (the smallest), Disney Television Animation, and Walt Disney Animation Studios (the largest -- although its staffing bounces around a lot: up when a feature goes into full production and down when work is completed.)

For the rest, Nickelodeon has a few more shows and a bit higher employment; Fox Animation has added the Cleveland Show while Film Roman has lost King of the Hill. And Warner Bros. Animation, almost a ghost town in mid-2008, has revitalized itself with direct-to-video features, theatrical shorts, and a plethora of new television series.

We have some new studios on board (Bento Box and Hasbro), and some big employers (Imagi, IM Digital) that have folded their tents and gone away.

What all this demonstrates is that animation is an ever-changing landscape. There are always non-signator facilities that we're working to organize. There are never studios not in danger of shrinking, growing or vanishing altogether. Filmation was the largest L.A.-based animation studio in 1985; it was gone in February of 1989.

And though The Simpsons is the longest-lived scripted series ever, it's been through two animation studios controlled by -- at one time or another -- five different owners.

"Everything changes a little and it should,

Good ain't forever and bad ain't for good."


Anonymous said...
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Andy said...

Obviously these numbers represent more departments than strictly animation. Can you elaborate more on which departments/job titles were grouped under "animation employment?"

Jeff Massie said...

The numbers represent the entire working jurisdiction of the Animation Guild at the studios listed ... writers, artists and technicians in animation and CG.

Management and administrative jobs are not counted, nor are animation editors (IATSE Local 700), camera people (IA Local 600), sound (IA Local 695), voice actors (SAG) .. in other words people at animation studios represented by a union other than TAG.

Staffing Supplier said...

A positive sign,there is lot of Hope in the Animation Industry.

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